Food banks are non-profit programs that provide hunger relief through donations in local communities. They help meet the needs of feeding the more than 49 million people who face hunger in the Untied States. Some food banks operate only in specific communities, while others serve much broader region
The idea of a food bank was started by John Van Hengel in 1967 in Phoenix, Arizona. He was a volunteer serving dinner to the needy at St. Vincent De Paul. He founded St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, the world's first food bank.
The Feeding America network, Second Harvest, PantryNet.org and 2-1-1 are a few of the services available to help locate local food banks. A food bank or food pantry is there to help provide food for low-income families. Most offer free food or reduced-priced food items.
A list of preferred food items to bring to local food banks is featured at Mother Nature Network, Oregon Food Bank and Austin Food Bank. The best type of foods for food banks are nonperishable canned and dry goods. Cans that have pop-top lids and packaging that are easy for kids and older people to
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While the services of food banks differ by organization, most offer food boxes to people in need. These boxes provide enough food for several days to a week. Other services include holiday food boxes and children's backpack programs that provide food for days when school lunches are not available.
Families in need can get assistance through a variety of federal and state assistance programs, as well as private agencies, such as the Salvation Army, United Way and many churches. Families can find help with bills, food and housing, depending on each household's individual needs and circumstances
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Feeding America and FoodPantries.org allow users to search for food banks in their areas by zip code or state. All resources that are listed provide food for needy recipients at no charge.